This weekend’s Group of 20 (G20) summit is set to kick off in Saudi Arabia amid concerns within the kingdom’s human rights record and below the ever-present shadow of this COVID-19 crisis.
International rights groups have called for nations to boycott the event, demanding that police publish dissidents and women’s rights activists who were arrested.
The kingdom could have observed the summit as a chance to improve its image, together with all it’s own de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, following widespread condemnation in the wake of journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder by Muslim representatives.
However, the coronavirus pandemic means that the summit will be held on the web and the conference center in Riyadh won’t be full of world leaders.
“For Saudi governments the G20 Summit is crucial: it’s a time for them to market their reform agenda to the planet, and reveal their nation is open for business,” explained Lynn Maalouf,” Amnesty International’s deputy regional manager for the Middle East and North Africa.
“Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia’s actual reformers are behind bars.
“Rather than playing together with the Islamic government’s whitewashed story, G20 leaders must utilize this summit as a chance to stand up to the courageous activists whose real commitment to women’s empowerment has cost them their liberty.”
Who’s at the G20?
What is on the schedule?
According to the hosts, this past year’s G20 will observe talks around the coronavirus pandemic, ecological problems, in addition to the planet’s economy.
However, commentators are skeptical if the distant summit can live as much as an in-the-flesh occasion, raising doubts about online privacy along with a lack of intimate conversations between leaders which simply will not occur via video connection.
A couple of the critical issues set out in the schedule might turn out to be in danger — that the G20 countries acquired a stark warning that this week that their COVID retrieval bundles hazard reversing climate profits.
A new report has discovered that they were able to decrease CO2 emissions in 2019 but hazard reversing the positive tendency since their coronavirus recovery bundles overwhelmingly encourage fossil fuel businesses.
The Climate Transparency yearly review of G20 nations’ climate actions also discovered they constitute around 80 percent of the world’s emissions.
What is more, it predicts they’ll overlook the 1.5°C warming goal set from the Paris Agreement — damning truth that attendees will not have the ability to dismiss in discussions.
This year’s G20 will not see leaders huddled together to get a group photograph around the summit’s host, but there’s surely plenty about the agenda to be discussed.
Activists are also looking on to determine how nations respond to Saudi Arabia’s alleged human rights violations.